Carlsbad artist Bryan Snyder, left, shares a laugh with Elijah, left, and Easton Villanueva after the two boys helped Snyder paint his latest public art project dubbed, “Doodles Umbrella,” at Café Ground Up, 550 Grand Ave., on Aug. 17. Steve Puterski photo
Arts Arts & Entertainment Carlsbad Cities Community News Region

Latest Carlsbad art project encourages public interaction

CARLSBAD — Doodle is making his debut in the city thanks to one local artist.

The character is the creation of Bryan Snyder, who also operates the Carlsbad Art Wall at Señor Grubby’s.

Snyder worked for hours on Aug. 17 to bring his latest public art installation, “Doodle’s Umbrella” to the wall of Café Ground Up, 550 Grand Ave. The mural is rather simple, a painting of a childhood creation under an umbrella.

Yet, it’s an interactive piece, Snyder said, as two flower pots, one on the ground and one atop the umbrella, rest and the public is encouraged to water them. He said it’s his way of engaging the public to become artists themselves.

Additionally, Snyder said, it’s important to promote local businesses, noting the Village is a family.

“I think it’s adding something to the Village,” Snyder said. “Once they painted this wall … you can’t beat this environment. The success of a project depends on the location.”

Over the course of the day, dozens of people stopped and watched with Snyder. Others conversed about the piece and two kids, Elijah, 7, and Easton Villanueva of Roland Heights, even got to help Snyder paint Doodle.

Another passerby, Robert Obdone and his wife and two kids, watched and chatted with Snyder about the mural. Obdone said it was a positive addition to the wall and the city and marveled about how Snyder hopes the public will engage.

“This is the first time I’ve seen your art in 3D,” Obdone remarked. “This is great. It reminds us of that age. Some innocence there with the face. It looks good.”

Snyder said Doodle was a childhood creation, but something he long forgot about until he was 30. However, during a visit with his mother, she showed him old drawings from his youth, with several featuring Doodle.

So, he brought Doodle to life with a similar project in Los Angeles about six years ago. He said Doodle is a nostalgic reminder of his childhood, a time of innocence and curiosity and represents childhood memories.

“It was crazy popular and it’s always one of my favorite projects because it interacts with the community,” Snyder said.

With his Carlsbad project, though, Snyder identified the wall five years ago, but the timing wasn’t right. He stayed patient and was finally able to connect with the café’s owner, Gaetano Cicciotti, about painting the mural on the side wall.

Cicciotti was in and Snyder began organizing his plan. The umbrella was the most difficult part, Snyder said, as it required him to sew and incorporate commercial grade bolts to hold the umbrella into the wall.

He taught himself how to sew and then determined an acceptable height to maximize public participation. Snyder then bought flowers and pots, cutting the pots in half and gluing them to the wall.

“It’s not on a wall, it’s in the community,” Snyder said. “They go to the counter, ask for the watering can, they fill it up and then they come out here and water the flowers.”

Snyder is also holding a contest for anyone who takes a photo with Doodle watering the flowers and tagging him on Instagram. The winner gets a painting of Doodle.

Photo Caption: Carlsbad artist Bryan Snyder, left, shares a laugh with Elijah, left, and Easton Villanueva after the two boys helped Snyder paint his latest public art project dubbed, “Doodles Umbrella,” at Café Ground Up, 550 Grand Ave., on Aug. 17. Photo by Steve Puterski

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